Posts Tagged ‘Promise Neighborhoods’
Promise Neighborhood Grants
Last week, the Department of Education announced a new round of Promise Neighborhood funding, including some new planning grants as well as the first implementation grants. The New America Foundation’s Early Ed Watch has all the background. The implementation grants went to organizations in Buffalo; Hayward, California; San Antonio, rural Kentucky, and Minneapolis. (Sondra Samuels, the C.E.O. of the Northside Achievement Zone, the Minneapolis group that was awarded an implementation grant, is pictured above.)
This cool work of art is by Amanda Lyons, a “graphic facilitator” who has been working with the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley on their nine-block Promise Neighborhood in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Lyons’s artwork, above, is a graphic representation of the “conveyer belt” that the Allentown Promise Neighborhood hopes to deliver to young people there. Details here.
Roseland Children’s Initiative
In May, Geoffrey Canada visited the Chicago neighborhood of Roseland (where I’ve spent a lot of time during the past school year reporting for my next book, “The Success Equation”). Geoff spoke to students and community members at Fenger High School at the kickoff of the Roseland Children’s Initiative, a Promise Neighborhood-like project sponsored by SGA Youth & Family Services (whose annual benefit I spoke at in 2010).
There was coverage in the Chicago Defender, the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago News Cooperative, and Catalyst Chicago, which reported that the ultimate goal of the children’s initiative is
to reach 65 percent of the roughly 14,000 young people in Roseland, enough to bring the neighborhood to a “tipping point” toward improvement.
Promise Neighborhood Updates
1. In Winston-Salem, N.C., more than 25 non-profit agencies have come together to form the Promise Neighborhood Community Collaborative in order to create a Promise Neighborhood in the Ibraham school district. According to this article in Yes! Weekly, “Whatever It Takes” helped inspire the project:
Lee Koch, principal of Prince Ibraham Elementary School, said it was Tough’s book that first inspired community leaders in Winston-Salem to look into the possibility of identifying one neighborhood as a potential Promise Neighborhood.
2. In Kinston, N.C., community leaders have joined forces with faculty and graduate students from the University of North Carolina’s Community-Campus Partnership to create the Kinston Promise Neighborhood. According to this article in ENC Today, the neighborhood will cover 81 blocks in the city’s East Kinston and Mitchelltown neighborhoods.
3. In Athens, Georgia, the Whatever It Takes initiative (which I visited last December) presented their initial plans for the Athens Promise Neighborhood to community members in May. Details here.
4. And in June, a reporter for Minnesota Public Radio filed this report on the 250-block St. Paul Promise Neighborhood, which “hopes to counteract the effects of poverty on children by creating a network of so-called ‘cradle-to-career’ services.”
Community Forum in Lame Deer
On Monday morning, I’ll be giving a speech and sitting on a panel at a community forum in Lame Deer, a small town in eastern Montana, on the Northern Cheyenne reservation. As a post on Indian Country Today explains:
The author will discuss [Geoffrey] Canada’s creation of a cradle-to-college program for children of Harlem, New York. After his talk, Montana residents will talk about what resources worked for them, and everyone will brainstorm how to create an infrastructure that will support youth of the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in their career goals.
The forum is being organized by the Boys and Girls Club of the Northern Cheyenne Nation, which last year became one of 21 community groups nationwide that received a Promise Neighborhood planning grant.
There’s more information in this story from the Billings Gazette, including details on how to RSVP.
Another Prince Donation
This week, Prince, the musician, gave $250,000 to the Eau Claire Promise Zone, a group that is trying to emulate the Harlem Children’s Zone in the Eau Claire neighborhood of Columbia, South Carolina. (Its board includes Geoffrey Canada’s brother Daniel.) Prince’s new donation is in addition to the $1 million that he gave to the Harlem Children’s Zone in February.
It is worth noting that Prince’s total contributions to HCZ-like endeavors now stand at $1.25 million, compared to the $10 million that the federal government has spent on Promise Neighborhoods so far.
If you’re moved to compare the two investments, there are two important metrics to keep in mind. The first is raw dollars, and by that measure, the federal government is clearly ahead, having thus far spent eight times as much as Prince. But if you compare promises to follow-through, the story looks different: President Obama promised in 2007 to spend “a few billion dollars a year” on HCZ replications. Which means Obama’s administration is currently spending about 0.2 percent of what he said was the minimum necessary to make the program work. (“I’ll be honest; it can’t be done on the cheap,” he said in the 2007 speech. “But we will find the money to do this, because we can’t afford not to.”)
Prince didn’t promise anything. Which makes his donations look all the more generous, by contrast.
The News from Kenilworth-Parkside
There was news about the D.C. Promise Neighborhood initiative in two Washington newspapers last week. The Washington City Paper reported on the groundbreaking for a new early-childhood center in the Kenilworth-Parkside neighborhood in D.C.’s Ward 7, adding,
the Educare building, as it’s known, is much more than a school. It’s also the first piece of a federally-funded plan to replicate the success of the Harlem Children’s Zone in Manhattan, using a model of integrated educational and social services to transform a kid’s whole environment, not just the time they spend in a classroom.
The Washington Post added that the effort was
spearheaded by Irasema Salcido, the charismatic educator who founded the Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools for Public Policy in the community, but its unusual strength lies in the 70 nonprofits, businesses, churches, foundations and resident associations that have signed on. In a refreshing partnership, two traditional public schools, Kenilworth and Neval Thomas elementary schools, have joined the coalition with their charter neighbor.
Next week, I’ll be visiting the Cesar Chavez schools and giving a speech at Georgetown University about character development and student achievement — and how those topics relate to the Promise Neighborhood initiative.
On March 31, I’ll be giving a keynote address as part of an event about “Character Development and Student Achievement” sponsored by Georgetown University and the Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools for Public Policy. (Georgetown and Chavez are working together to create a Promise Neighborhood in D.C.’s Ward 7.) There will be a panel discussion following my talk, with Kaya Henderson, the interim chancellor of the D.C. public schools; Jim Shelton, the official in charge of the education department’s innovation initiatives; Irasema Salcido, the founder of the Chavez schools; and Tim King, the founder of the Urban Prep charter schools in Chicago.
For more information, contact Norma Barfield with the Chavez Schools, at email@example.com.
Promise Neighborhoods in the 2012 budget
Despite the grim prospects for Promise Neighborhood funding in 2011, President Obama’s 2012 budget, which he proposed last week, requests $150 million for 2012, considerably less than the original 2011 request, but considerably more than Congress has actually allocated for 2011. As an blog post from the Chronicle of Philanthropy explains:
Promise Neighborhoods awarded $10 million in planning grants to 21 projects around the country in the 2010 fiscal year. Mr. Obama proposed upping the budget to $210-million in fiscal year 2011, with most of the money paying for grants to help nonprofit groups put their projects into effect. However, Congress has not yet adopted a 2011 budget, so spending has been frozen at 2010 levels. Congress did not fully back his 2011 request: a House subcommittee proposed spending only $60-million and a Senate committee only $20-million.
The request leaves many questions unanswered, including these, from the New America Foundation’s Ed Money Watch blog:
The Department of Education awarded $10 million in planning grants late last year. What is the status of those planning grants? Will the recipients of the planning grants receive this new money as well or will there be a new grant competition? If it will be the same grant recipients, will those grant recipients be ready to start implementing their plans in fiscal year 2012?
On Saturday, Feb. 12, I’ll be at the Teach For America 20th anniversary summit in Washington, D.C., moderating a panel on interventions to close the achievement gap that go beyond the classroom. Joining me will be Larkin Tackett, who is helping to oversee the Promise Neighborhood program for the department of education; Debbie Gonzalez, the senior manager of preventive programs for the Harlem Children’s Zone; Diana Rauner, the president of the Ounce of Prevention Fund; David Williams, the Chicago regional director for Youth Advocate Programs, Inc.; and Irasema Salcido, the founder and CEO of Cesar Chavez Public Charter School in Washington, D.C.
Here’s how the conference web site describes what we’ll be talking about:
Everyone agrees that education plays a critical role in eradicating poverty, but is it enough? How critical are other poverty-focused interventions to improving student outcomes? In this panel, practitioners will discuss which services have the greatest impact on poverty in their communities and what they’re doing to address the needs of low-income children and families.